It is an undeniable fact that switching your energy supplier often can greatly help you reduce your energy costs, but the irony is that very few people in the UK have embraced this efficient way of saving their hard earned money. The question begs; why won’t they? After all, it is not all that difficult, or is it? But from what people in the energy industry have to say, people shy away from switching their energy suppliers as often as they should because of distrust in the power supplying companies, and this they do with good reason
Statistics show that over a staggering 17 million households in the UK have over the years adamantly refused to change their supplies in spite of the potential benefits that switching their energy suppliers might yield. Despite pleas from the minister of energy and other regulators in the energy sector for people to regularly change their suppliers so that they enjoy the benefits of cheaper deals that most companies offer new customers, it seems that most of the population is not hearkening to the call.
The strategy by the minister is obviously not working, because in the past year, only less than 15% of the household changed their suppliers. Unknown to them, they are at a disadvantage because with power supply companies, the longer you stay with them, the higher you pay for your bills. That means that you will always be paying the expensive Standard Variable Tariffs (SVT), instead of paying low prices as a new customer to a given company. According to Competitions and Marketing Authority (CMA), those households that refuse to switch their power supply companies end up spending 330 more on their energy bills, and the figure keeps rising with time. Three years ago, a household that refused to switch their power supply company ended up spending 200 more on electricity and gas than those that regularly changed their power supply companies. So what exactly is the problem, and how can it be solved?
The real issue is centered on distrust, but also the misconception that changing supply companies is a tedious job has a role to play in the reluctance that people are showing in switching their power supply companies. Poor customer service and misleading information given to consumers by power supply companies plays a major role in the inertia displayed by people who don’t change their companies regularly or even at all. The second problem is a total misconception: switching a power supply company is not difficult in the least; you need not worry that power to your house will be cut and reconnected when you change your power supply company. In fact, two companies have taken up the responsibility of making it even easier for people to switch their power supply companies as often as they should, and their efforts are certainly paying off.
Voltz is a smart phone based switching services that is new in the market, having been only launched last year. The Chief Executive of the company, Florian Ritzmann, is strongly convinced that poor customer services play a role in making consumers distrust that switching companies can be of any benefit to them. What’s worse, when customers become old in a given company, they are charged at the expensive SVTs, once the enticing deal time expires.
Voltz seeks to solve this problem by switching companies for consumers once they supply details about their current power company and express the wish to change their current companies. The app analyzes what options the consumer has, and what deals would be most beneficial to them depending on their current company, tariff and their average energy consumption. At the click of a button by the consumer, Voltz takes upon itself the responsibility of switching the companies for the consumer. It is a very convenient and enticing option for those who think that switching energy companies is hard work.
For those who love convenience even more, then Flipper is the way for them to go. Flipper is an application that identifies the best deals for customers and automatically switches companies for its users. The app is always on the lookout for the best deals for customers, so that once a better deal than the customer’s current one pops up, the app then switches to that new company. After signing up, Flipper takes care of everything for the consumer, according to the company’s chief executive, Talal Fathallah. You won’t even know how much energy you spend, because data is gotten directly from your online account. In case you do not have an online account, the company creates it for you. Additionally, the company does not accept commissions from the companies to which it switches consumers; instead, there is a yearly 25 subscription, and the consumer should only pay after they have saved more than 50 as a result of using the app.
Both of these companies have embraced technology in order to find a lasting solution to this problem, and they are getting very positive feedback from their users. They might just be the perfect solution to the problem of inertia in changing power supply companies for households.